Thursday, August 28, 2014

The last summer

As life marches on we mark beginnings and ends as benchmarks, things change the status quo.
Monday we said goodbye to our youngest daughter Danielle & hubby Johnny who have lived with us for 2 summers in a row.

We have had our summers filled with college kids at home for over a decade. An era ends this year because Johnny was accepted to the accounting program and Danielle is applying to P.A. school, which means they won't have summers off. This leaves me both extremely proud of their accomplishments and terribly sad for the lonely summers ahead.
A bit dramatic as usual, but true:)

I will miss Johnny teasing me and calling me Kimmie, declaring that we are besties! I will miss Danielle's hugs and "How are you Mommy" greetings along with the little back scratch:) I might even miss Johnny & Travis's redneck adventures and challenges to my rules of etiquette. I will miss the movie night marathons, ideas for fun activities, and talks about practically anything with people who no longer roll their eyes at me.

I won't miss my decimated grocery budget or Johnny whining that the milk is gone. I won't miss the "trail" of Danielle though the house or Johnny's stinky work tennis shoes on my back door steps. I won't miss my clean laundry taken out the dryer before it is dry, or the constant pile of stuff on the staircase. These things are truly petty though... I am just trying not to miss them too much:)

There is something about having these youngsters just beginning their adult adventures that brings such joy. Their life possibilities excite me and induce sweet reminiscing about Michael and I at their age. I seem to slow down my work schedule a bit to "hang out" with these "past the teen years" and much sweeter children! Some I have loved since birth and the others since they married mine:)

Michael and I talk often of how much we love this stage of parenthood. Yes, there were some really good times when we were in the trenches which created treasured memories of raising children. However the real perks come when you can be friends, share common interests AND reap the reward for not dispensing with your teenagers. They grow up and produce adorable little people that make the world new again!

Danielle & Johnny with Brittany & Travis.
 Game night is always fun and sometimes quite lively!
Danielle with Scarlett at a favorite cabin on the lake

Johnny volunteering in the church nursery...
I think he did it just to play with Scarlett:)
Danielle worked in our clinic this summer.
She needed clinical hours to apply to P.A. school
Johnny was my personal outside worker this summer...hahaha
He told Danielle to slap him if he ever complained about school again:)

I made this art work for my Texas loving girl,
who gets homesick mid-winter.

The last wave always tugs at my heart...

I am now re-adjusting to an empty house trying to make friends with strange idea that my children are really and truly all grown up now.
Time really does fly.
I really mustn't be sad too long when they leave. The end of something is always the beginning of another. 
Next summer I can go visit them, attend a college education week that I have longed to be a part of, and escape a bit of these hot Texas summers!
See...I have already figured out how not to be lonely after all:)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Cinnamon Baked French Toast

Waking up to the smell of this baked french toast is an extraordinary treat to the senses. The cinnamon streusel topping is the "cherry on top!"  This is a recipe found on PInterest, tested on the family, and voted into the family recipe hall of fame which became another favorite at Nellie's Cottage for our retreats! We serve this topped with homemade whipped cream and fresh berries with a side of bacon. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Orange Sour Cream Muffins

Our retreaters at Nellie's Cottage loooove these muffins! I am personally addicted:) They are deliciously moist with a fresh orange flavor, and best of all, topped with a heavenly citrus glaze. We usually serve these muffins with loaded hashbrowns, sausage, & fresh fruit. Brittany found this recipe on Pinterest & tested it on the family...we said it was a keeper!